The amount of compensatory sweating depends on the patient, the damage that the white rami communicans incurs, and the amount of cell body reorganization in the spinal cord after surgery.
Other potential complications include inadequate resection of the ganglia, gustatory sweating, pneumothorax, cardiac dysfunction, post-operative pain, and finally Horner’s syndrome secondary to resection of the stellate ganglion.

After severing the cervical sympathetic trunk, the cells of the cervical sympathetic ganglion undergo transneuronic degeneration
After severing the sympathetic trunk, the cells of its origin undergo complete disintegration within a year.

Monday, June 9, 2014

the severity of post-sympathectomy (post-SE) dysfunction is unpredictable

The aim of this study was to identify retrospectively, lumbar sympathectomy (SE) using thermography (TG) and to evaluate clinically, the severity of post-sympathectomy (post-SE) dysfunction after anterior and lateral lumbar interbody fusion procedures (ALIF, XLIF).
Twenty eight patients with suspected SE were referred for TG to both legs. They completed our questionnaire on severity of difficulties after SE. We evaluated the ability of physical examinations to reveal the SE in contrast to TG and compared the symptoms (warmer leg and inhibited leg sweating) of SE with questionnaire responses as subjective measure and TG as objective measure.
SE was diagnosed in 0.5% after ALIF at L5/S1, in 15% after ALIF at Th12-L5 and in 4% after XLIF at T12-L5. SE severely reduced the quality of life in two cases. The ability to distinguish differences in leg temperature by palpation after SE was found in 32%. All physical examinations together were insufficient for reliably disclosing SE. Subjective symptoms of SE were often false positive and proven SE by TG was often a clinically false negative.
This is the first study to examine post-SE dysfunction objectivelya using TG after ALIF and XLIF, and the first to evaluate clinically, the severity of the post-SE syndrome. Before surgery we cannot foresee potentially poor SE results. For this reason, injury to the sympathetic chain during surgery must be avoided. The advantage of TG for identifying SE is its non-invasiveness and reliability.